Posts Tagged ‘in the ballpark’

Ballpark Numbers for Iranian Reactors?

June 20, 2014

mThe New York Times INTERNATIONAL Thursday, June 19, 2014

THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ: Conflict in Iraq Adds New Angle to U.S.-Iran Nuclear Talks, by David Sanger

VIENNA–The Iranian leadership had a message for Washington on Wednesday by President Hassan Rouhani’s chief of staff, Mohammad Nahavandian, who said to reporters at an international relations forum in Oslo:  “If President Obama really wants some cooperation on stabilizing Iraq, he might first think about speeding forward with a permanent deal over Iran’s nuclear capability.”

American and European negotiators are “growing skeptical that a deal both Mr. Obama and Mr. Rouhani can embrace–and sell at home–is possible by a deadline agreed with the Iranians last year, now a little more than a month away…

‘There’s no splitting the difference here,’ said Robert J. Einhorn, who was a crucial player on the American negotiating team until last year, and still advises the United States.  ‘If the Iranians keep taking the view that they must have the capacity to fuel power reactor, they are not going to even get in the ballpark of the numbers the U.S is talking about.”

Numbers in the ballpark are reasonable and usually can be negotiated.  This idiomatic usage derives from American baseball parks.


American and Viet Losses in War: In the Ballpark?

October 30, 2012

The Washington Post, Sunday, October 28, 2012:  BOOK WORLD


THE GENERALS, American Military Command From World War II to Today, by Thomas E. Ricks, Penguin Press

…”Then, in South Vietnam under (General) William Westmoreland, came another nadir in American generalship.  Westmoreland was convinced that the way to win was through a strategy of attrition that would kill off the Viet Cong guerrillas and the regular North Vietnamese army faster than they could replace the losses…”  

Author Ricks, quoting General William DePuy, the intellectual advocate of the strategy as Westmoreland’s operations officer, admitted the attrition strategy’s futility years later:  “We …didn’t know about the redoubtable nature of the North Vietnamese regime.  We didn’t know what steadfast, stubborn, dedicated people they were.  Their willingness to absorb losses compared with ours wasn’t even in the same ballpark.” 

For interpretation of the baseball metaphor, go to  The original baseball meaning for in the ball park is: “The ball was hit hard, but stayed in the ball park;”  the metaphoric equivalent relates to an acceptable figure or proposal.